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Spotlight on Wager's Flat at Authority meeting

This is an archived press release

Friday 9 February 2007

9 February 2007

Spotlight on Wager's Flat at Authority meeting

A decision by the Peak District National Park Authority on possible enforcement action at Wager's Flat has been put back to 9 March, after the Authority received representations from the quarry owner and operator.

A report into quarrying at Wager’s Flat was considered by members at today’s (9 February) Authority meeting. The meeting heard that following last month’s Planning Committee - at which the Authority moved a step closer to enforcement action - quarry owner Bleaklow Industries and operator MMC Ltd have made representations.

These representations are challenging the Authority’s possible actions. They must be carefully considered by the Authority before it can agree its next course of action. With this in mind Wager’s Flat will be considered again at a special meeting of the National Park Authority on 9 March.

Peak District National Park Authority Chair, Tony Hams, said: At last month’s Planning Committee we moved a step closer to enforcement action. However, since then, representations have been received and we must very carefully consider them.

The local community may be frustrated by the latest turn of events. We share that frustration, but cannot stress strongly enough how crucial it is to get this right. Any action we might take could be open to a legal challenge - which could significantly delay matters.”

A public inquiry into quarrying at nearby Backdale Quarry is due to get underway next Tuesday, 13 February. This quarry is also owned by Bleaklow Industries and operated by MMC Ltd.

The inquiry relates to the Authority’s enforcement action to stop what it believes to be unauthorised limestone extraction at Backdale, causing irreversible harm to the landscape. The quarry owner and operator appealed. For more information visit www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/backdale

Tony Hams added: The outcome of the inquiry could be vital to our efforts to constrain limestone removal on Longstone Edge.”

Wager’s Flat is part of Longstone Edge, near Bakewell. It is covered by a valid minerals planning permission, which extends to 155 hectares, granted by the Government in 1952. The permission does not mention limestone, but allows the winning and working of fluorspar and barytes and the working of lead and any other minerals which are won in the course of working these minerals.”

At Wagers Flat a fluorspar vein passes through the limestone, but the Authority’s Planning Committee on 19 January was advised that considerably more limestone has been removed off site than was won in the course of working the fluorspar.

This is an archived press release

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